Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting and Spending

Now that December is upon us, I'm beginning to look back on the year that was (okay, I know it's not over yet, but I'm in a taking-stock mood). One of my goals for the past year was financial: I've had a lot of money woes, and so I decided to make my finances a priority. So I framed the goal as "inviting and welcoming abundance into my life." I would begin with recognizing and affirming the abundance I already have, and then move to the next stage of announcing to the universe that I was ready to receive gratefully any further abundance that would be given me.

Things did not work out the way I planned.

I did attract heaps of abundance into my life, in financial terms. As soon as I announced this plan to the universe, opportunities to make more money kept appearing. I was invited to give more school talks, and more lucrative ones, than I had done in years; I was invited to guest-edit an issue of the Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly for the University of Maryland, for a generous stipend, and then invited to guest-edit a second issue. I taught an overload at CU both semesters, and taught Maymester as well. Every time I turned around, someone was paying me money to do something.

So, how did the plan not work out? Well, here's how. The more I earned, the more I spent. I had a delicious, decadent trip to California with Gregory and his girlfriend, Sierra - and a delicious, decadent trip to New York City with Christopher and his girlfriend, Samantha - and a third delicious, decadent trip to Minnesota with my sister. I bought a new (used) car: a 2003 Subaru, and bought a warranty to go with it, the warranty that somehow covered absolutely everything except for the one major repair I needed. Somehow I spent all the money I made and then some. I have more credit card debt now than I did before I decided to invite and welcome abundance into my life back in January.

This suggests to me that what happened was that, however beautifully I worded my goal in terms of "abundance" rather than cold cash, the universe knew that money was what I wanted, and so I had a year of getting and spending money. Heaps of it. I had a lot of fun spending it, but I got pretty worn out getting it. And in any case, it's all gone, though wonderful memories remain. This was the year of money, money, money.

But Wordsworth said that "getting and spending we lay waste our powers." So, while the getting was quite amazing, and the spending was most enjoyable, next year I think I'm going to focus my energies on something different. Maybe on work, maybe on love, maybe on both. But not, I don't think, on money. I'm probably not sorry I laid waste my powers in such a spectacular way in 2009. But I'm not going to do this again in 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading "The Secret Carousel." Maybe like Lindy, we just need to learn the joy in being where we are and having what we have, rather than always looking for more.
    -- Carol Linda